Don Lemon opened his CNN broadcast Thursday night with a blistering monologue taking President Donald Trump to task for using the same birther tactics he used against Barack Obama on vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
“Every single day, another lie, another conspiracy theory, another racist dog whistle,” a clearly exasperated Lemon said at the top of his show. “He’s using the podium in the White House briefing room, that you pay for, to lie to you. And he’s starting with birtherism. Can you believe it? Is it 2011 all over again? What is going on?”
“Birtherism now against Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s vice presidential nominee who is a Black woman,” the host continued. “Does that ring a bell to you?”
Lemon went on to play a clip from the briefing when Trump was asked about a “discredited” Newsweek column questioning Harris’ eligibility to serve as vice president. Instead of dismissing it, the president said he would look into it, telling reporters, “I have no idea if that’s right. I would’ve assumed the Democrats would’ve checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president.”
“This man is so full of it, y’all,” Lemon said of Trump. “Come on. He knows better than that. He’s the president of the United States. Shouldn’t he have a modicum of decency and class to just say, ‘Look, come on, let’s talk about something real. A lot of people have died from the coronavirus. That’s serious. Kamala Harris is on the vice presidential ticket. Move along.’”
The host explained to viewers that he considered just “ignoring” Trump’s latest “dumb, stupid conspiracy theory,” but ultimately decided he couldn’t just “let the ugliness go unchallenged.”
“A white man questioning a Black woman’s birthplace in America in 2020,” he said. “No other words but disgusting, racist. And purposely so.”